RightMessage Versus ConvertFlow: Onsite Retargeting To Personalize The Marketing On Your Blog (UPDATED)
What if your blog actually changed based on who was visiting it? You might get way more opt-ins and sales, right? It is called onsite retargeting. And we’re looking now at two tools which do it: RightMessage and ConvertFlow.
UPDATED 8/15/2019: Since this post was originally written early in 2019, both companies have made several changes. I am now updating this post to better reflect these two tools how they now stand. Let’s roll…
What if your blog actually changed to suit individual visitors based on who they are and what they might be ready to act upon?
Rather than showing the same calls to action across your blog in a static fashion, you could custom tailor everything to specific visitors.
You might get more opt-ins? More sales?
That’s the idea. It is called onsite retargeting.
Since the perfect blog would be set up, from top to bottom, to be a strategic content marketing environment, then ideally your blog would react according to who they are. For instance:
- Show different calls to action for people who are already subscribed than those who are not.
- Show different calls to action based on information you know about a visitor, including interests, demographics, etc.
- If a person has already bought a certain product, avoid showing CTAs for that product and instead show something else.
- Show targeted offers to people based on what they’ve already purchased so that your blog actually helps move people along in your sales funnel.
For many bloggers who are moving into more developed marketing strategies, it is a major step up to move from a newsletter-oriented email list provider like Mailchimp or Aweber… and move into a marketing automation platform like Drip or ActiveCampaign.
In a similar fashion, it would be a step up for a blogger to move from a general opt-in form manager plugin like Thrive Leads or OptinMonster… and step into an onsite retargeting platform. In essence, it turns your blog into a marketing automation platform.
By presenting the right offers, to the right person, at the right time, you are increasing conversions.
And yes, you can do this with your blog by using the right add-on to your blog marketing tech stack.
We’re going to look at two of the top tools in this space: RightMessage and ConvertFlow. Both are powerful tools for onsite retargeting, although they approach it in different ways.
RightMessage is a powerful tool for onsite retargeting – and one which has undergone a number of big changes since this article was originally written.
At the core, RightMessage allows you to display certain calls to actions to the person based on what you know about them. It derives this information directly from your CRM through integration, but also by asking questions of your visitors over time.
As an example, let us look at Smart Passive Income and how Pat is using RightMessage to ask a question when people arrive on the site:
Using the tool, you can set up any number of questions like this. You can control when and where they appear across your site. Every time somebody answers a question, that answer is recorded inside of RightMessage AND synced to your CRM. Over time, this is a massive amount of segmentation data that you can use in your marketing.
Now, with this data at hand, you can customize what the visitor sees in order to make it more relevant.
When we first checked out RightMessage, it had the unique ability to customize your site based on who the visitor is. For instance, you could change the headline on your sales letter based on your segmentation info. This ability still exists and is unique to RightMessage (as far as I know). Here is a quick walkthrough video I recorded in January. It doesn’t look like the interface for this has changed, so it is still pretty much what to expect.
As cool as the site personalization is, RightMessage has made a major shift in their focus since we first looked at it.
Now, their site personalization capability is limited to the highest level plans – mainly targeted for enterprise level applications. They (correctly) realized that most people don’t need that.
RightMessage is now much more focused on list building – putting it in direct competition with tools like OptinMonster. Like many tools, you can place opt-in forms in a number of places including a top bar, inline, full-screen takeover, popup or a toaster.
This is a huge improvement over what RightMessage offered when we first looked at it. At the time, it could only do top bars. That was just WAY too limiting and a major buzz kill on the excitement level. It’s great to see they’re playing catchup here.
But, optin forms are nothing new. In fact, right now their level of customization ability on the forms is rather lackluster. I hear they plan to build in higher levels of customization, but I think the company definitely has a “less is more” philosophy on that.
Despite the lack of customization options on the CTA forms, the REAL power of RightMessage comes in how you can control when, where and who sees them. If you’ve ever used a workflow editor in something like Drip, then you’re going to feel at home inside RightMessage. Here’s a simple example:
This is a very simple workflow that will show different CTA offers on the site based on what stage of the funnel they are in. And when you click to define that funnel stage, you can define it from the data in your CRM, like so…
Based on data in my CRM (Drip, in my case) such as tag and custom field, I can make my site show different CTAs.
And all of it can be set up visually using a workflow designer. That is extremely powerful and (as of this writing) totally unique to RightMessage.
You aren’t just “stuck” with data in your CRM, either. You can also control CTAs based on answers to questions you’ve asked them, their referring traffic source, Wordpress pages/posts/categories/tags, etc. RightMessage now provides FAR more flexibility than it did when we first looked at it in January.
RightMessage can be a little daunting to get started with. This isn’t a fault of the tool. It’s just that having this kind of capability opens up so many options for you that it can take a bit of time to get your head on straight and figure out how best to use it. 🙂 As best I can tell, here’s how the sections break down:
- Segmentation & Questions. This is where you will control questions you will ask so that you can segment people.
- Offers. This is what they call opt-in forms of any CTA where you click a button to do something. You can manage all your offers in one place.
- Widgets. This is where you control how and where something shows up. They are like little “slots” on your site where an offer will get inserted or a question will be asked. Using widgets, you select the type (bar, toaster, etc.) as well as the trigger (page being viewed, DIV class names, etc.)
- CTA Funnels. This is your workflow designer where you control the overall flow of when, where and who will see questions, offers.
Again, the best thing is to start off small and simple with a basic idea and then build from there. Otherwise, you can end up in major paralysis mode on how to use this tool. Trust me, I know. 😉
One last thing… pricing.
RightMessage changed their pricing to be far more competitive since we last looked at the tool in January. Now, it begins at $29/month with a 14-day trial. At $29/month, that gives you everything for up to 2,000 visitors per month. It will go up based on your site traffic.
Their original “Personalize Plan” that gives the full campaign editor is no longer offered as a standard feature. I remember seeing it was included in their “Enterprise” plans starting at around $400/month, but it now looks like they removed it altogether.
- They are on an aggressive development streak right now, so new features coming all the time.
- The easy ability to ask questions makes segmenting VERY easy
- Visual workflow builder is unique in this space and makes managing CTAs very easy
- Pricing starts pretty favorably
- While improving, there is still a sore lack of customization ability on CTAs
- No split testing
RightMessage has improved A LOT since I originally looked at. It lacks some of the things that make it a more polished tool, but this appears to be because they have only recently been really focusing on this CTA space (rather than site personalization). Since they switched focus, their development schedule has been pretty robust. I expect RightMessage to become a big contender in the list building space and more directly compete with the leading names in the space. The visual CTA funnel builder puts RightMessage in a league of it’s own. In time, I’m sure they will fill in some of the feature gaps.
When we first looked at these two tools, there was a LOT of difference between ConvertFlow and RightMessage. However, now the two tools are competing more or less on the same space. However, there are definitely some key differences still.
While RightMessage is a more recent convert to the call-to-action management space, ConvertFlow has been at it longer. As a result, ConvertFlow is still much more mature when it comes to the degree of flexibility that it offers.
RightMessage is quite limited (currently) in how much you can tweak and customize a call to action. And, as said before, it seems as if the company has a “less is more” attitude about it. They say that simple forms convert better, so that’s that. They may be right, but at the same time, RightMessage is not even in the ballpark with more robust opt-in form tools yet.
Convertflow is. ConvertFlow actually provides a pretty robust editor and you can do all kinds of things with it.
The editing interface has similarities to other tools like OptinMonster or Thrive Leads, with available tools in a side column and you drag them over to your form and edit. Each element has properties to allow you to change things like colors, fonts, padding, etc.
Overall, I am much more pleased with the way CTAs look when built with ConvertFlow. It just looks more… professional.
When you’re inside the tool, it is broken down into the following sections:
- Calls to Action. This is where you build and manage all the various calls to action across your site.
- Flows. A unique feature that allows you to set up CTAs into structured campaigns that walk the prospect through to certain goals. It bears some similarity to other tools that allow you to design workflows, such as Drip.
- Broadcasts. Allows you to send out high-priority CTAs that override all else.
- Contacts. Real records of all contacts on your site, their information, their avatar photo, and even data collected from public channels like social media accounts.
- Insights. Reporting on how everything is converting.
When you create a call to action, you have several options:
It used to be that ConvertFlow blew RightMessage away when it came to your options for display on-site, but RightMessage has closed the gap. ConvertFlow does, however, provide full landing page functionality and RightMessage does not.
ConvertFlow has a ton of options for display criteria, such as:
- Page URLs, device types (desktop or mobile), geographic location (city, country), etc.
- Visitor history (including CTAs completed, tags, segmenting information, etc.)
- Tags in your CRM (So, in my case, I can control CTAs based on the tags inside of Drip)
- Wordpress targeting (by post, page, category, logged in status, etc.)
You have more options with ConvertFlow. RightMessage has made a lot of headway in catching up, but ConvertFlow is just more fully developed in regards to all the ways you can control when, where and who sees a CTA.
There is an issue, however…
One major strength and unique feature of RightMessage is the workflow builder. Using the workflow builder, you can more easily visualize how your different CTAs relate to one another, where they appear, etc. As powerful as ConvertFlow is in this department, you’re still viewing a screen with a bunch of CTAs… each with its own independent properties. To show what I mean, here’s a screenshot of some test CTAs in my account.
I’m only showing 6 CTAs here. But, on a more fully utilized account, your list of CTAs could easily get much bigger. Yet, each CTA has it’s own properties, it’s own targeting, etc. Simply put, it would still be VERY easy to forget what the heck is going on. What if they shouldn’t see one CTA until another one was filled? Other than employing naming conventions, you might start to lose track. You can group CTAs into groups, but there’s few options for keeping track of things.
Now, ConvertFlow does have the Campaign Flows capability. Using Flows, you can organize groups of CTAs into various stages of your prospect lead cycle. Typically, it’d go something like this:
- Anonymous visitor.
- Email subscriber
- Become a qualified lead (either on a webinar, viewing pricing page, sales page, etc.)
- Buy some product.
- Buy more expensive upsells, or join a membership.
Pretty simple sales funnel structure. But, by setting goals up in your flow in ConvertFlow, you can track what stage of the cycle your visitors are in and therefore control what CTAs they see.
Flows is a powerful feature, but it is quite limited compared to the visual CTA flow builder now offered by RightMessage. Plus, all accounts get the workflow designer with RightMessage. With ConvertFlow, only the more expensive plan gets the Flow Builder.
Aside from the management and visual aspect of things, ConvertFlow is far more flexible. You can design landing pages. You can set up split testing. It is pretty awesome in what it does.
In terms of pricing, ConvertFlow starts out for free. If you have under 500 visits per month and only want to do lead generation, you can use it for free. Of course, 500 visits isn’t much, so the next level up is $39/month for up to 2,500 visitors per month.
ConvertFlow pricing is much more favorable as you scale up. RightMessage pricing increases much faster. For instance, if you got 40,000 visitors per month, you’d be paying $169/mo for RightMessage and just $89/mo for ConvertFlow.
One big difference is that you don’t get the Flow Builder until you are paying for a full business account (beginning at $300/mo). And even then, the Flow Builder just isn’t as useful as the workflow builder that RightMessage has.
- Very professional look and feel
- Far more CTA customization and targeting options than RightMessage
- Split testing
- More favorable pricing as traffic levels increase
- Ability to override CTAs with broadcasts (for time-based events, etc.)
- No real competitor to the visual workflow builder that RightMessage has (Flow Builder isn’t even close)
- Would be easy to lose track of the big picture as your list of CTAs gets bigger
ConvertFlow has been concentrating on the usual “call to action” space longer than RightMessage and, as a result, the tool just feels much more mature. ConvertFlow shines in how much more flexible it is over RightMessage. It would be easier, however, to lose track of all the rules and targeting you’re using among CTAs as things develop.
When this article was originally written about 8 months ago, the feature gap between the two tools was much larger. And at the time, I thought it was a slam dunk choice that ConvertFlow was a much better fit for most blog owners.
Today, the choice isn’t so clear. RightMessage has made a major focus shift in their tool and their branding since then. Now, both tools are more clearly competing for the same territory.
In the end, it comes down to this…
If I could have all the power of ConvertFlow with the visual CTA funnel builder of RightMessage, it would be the perfect tool. But, alas, that tool doesn’t exist – yet.
As we sit today, I think ConvertFlow is a more robust tool. It offers much better design options, more targeting options, split testing and is just a very professional tool. Their pricing is also more competitive as traffic increases.
RightMessage is still much more limited, however that visual workflow builder is a MAJOR powerhouse. That and the more straightforward way that you can segment your audience with questions makes it, in some ways, more user-friendly.
So, both tools have their pros and cons. And I can no longer simply declare a winner in this comparison. The answer of “which is best”, unfortunately, now is “it depends”. We never like those kind of wishy-washy answers, but that’s sort of the case now.
Want more power and flexibility? ConvertFlow is probably your friend.
Want something more visual? RightMessage it is.
With either tool, though, if you actually implement it and use it, you’re sure to get some good results.
I know its not at the same level but can’t you have some sort of offer customization with Thrive Smart Links? & Can’t you also have custom offers with Convert Kit? Is either of these tools necessary for the average blogger if you have either of the 2 tools I have mentioned?
ConvertBox is actually a better, more affordable solution and is available on a lifetime plan. Thrive Smart Links would be a pretty tedious way to do it. I can’t say I have looked into ConvertKit in that regard, but it is possible.